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This past weekend, my son’s school hosted a cake stall to raise money for the school. I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach my son about the importance of giving back, especially as we gear up for the holidays. 

My son is naturally concerned for others and being generous is a quality that I make an effort to bring out in him every single day. We headed to the cake stall and once we purchased our goodies I explained to Hudson why we purchased the yummy cupcakes and biscuits and who it helps. He had questions that we were happy to answer to better help him better understand the concept of raising money for a good cause.

I want my son to feel genuine gratitude for the blessings he has and there’s no better time than the festive season to do it. Here are five easy ways I’m teaching my child to be a do-gooder.

1. Coordinate a charity drive. I recently put together clothes my kids have outgrown to donate to charity. I let my son help me pick out the items from his drawers and cupboard and place them in plastic bags. We talked about how he’s growing up so fast and the clothes no longer fit, but how there are many children who don’t have clothes and need them. This is a start into helping my child learn what a difference he can make in the lives of other children and their families. 

2. Make your child aware of his community. At his school’s cake stall, my son picked out the cupcakes he wanted and then my husband and I explained the small, but good, gesture organised by his school. Paying several dollars for a few cakes to raise money for the community was a perfect opportunity to explain (and encourage) philanthropy to my kid. 

3. Read them books about kindness. Books about giving, sharing, and helping others teaches children the concept of empathy. Favourites in my house: The Giving Tree and Little Blue Truck.

4. Do the good deed yourself. When kids see you doing something good, they’ll want to do the same. One mama in my street likes to donate her hair for cancer patients. Her 5-year-old daughter now wants to do the same and she donated 20 cm her hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths charity campaign, which creates wigs for cancer patients.

5. Get Involved. This Christmas my family will get involved. We’re in the process of gathering gently used toys to donate to charitable organisations, such as Simply Giving. Let your child choose a cause by offering them some options that spark their interests. For example, if your child is into sports, they may want to donate a their equipment to Boots for All or if your kids like cooking, make a donation basket of nonperishable foods and let them bring it with you to a local soup kitchen.

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Photo: Getty